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Diet key in determining retinal risks

There is now a lot of evidence that nutrition plays a role in retinal health

Leigh Spielberg

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019

“There is now a lot of evidence that nutrition plays a role in retinal health,” said Cécile Delcourt, the Director of Research at the Bordeaux Population Health Research Center in France.

Dr Delcourt presented an overview of the research to date regarding “Nutritional Threats and Benefits for the Retina” at the 19th Annual EURETINA Congress in Paris yesterday morning.

“Although most of the research has involved specific nutrients involved in retinal health, I find that concentrating on dietary profiles, rather than individual nutrients, is more effective and interesting,” she said. This is due to a probably synergistic effect of the different nutritional components in an entire diet, rather than selected supplementation.

Dr Delcourt cited the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with longevity and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.

“The Mediterranean diet is rich in the micronutrients and essential fatty acids such as omega-3 that have been shown to be beneficial to retinal health,” she said. High plasma levels of omega-3 are associated with a 40% lower risk for advanced AMD.

“Measuring such nutritional biomarkers may soon help physicians and patients better monitor nutritional intervention and manage the risks of nutritional deficiencies to retinal health,” she concluded.